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Rev. Walter Tollefson Jr.

June 26, 1939-Sept. 16, 2010

The Rev. Walter Jerome Tollefson, Jr., a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle, died peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on Thursday, September 16, 2010

Walter was born to Walter and Helen (Olson) Tollefson on June 26, 1939 in Pelican Rapids. He graduated from Detroit Lakes High School in 1957 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Moorhead State University in 1981.

In September of 1965, Walter joined the Detroit Lakes Police Department. He was appointed Chief of Police in June of 1989. He held that position with poise until his retirement on July 31, 1996. Walter was united in marriage to Doreen (Rice) in July of 1983 in Detroit Lakes.

Walt was elected to the City Council of Detroit Lakes in 2002, and served two terms. In 2008, he was ordained and served as a priest at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Detroit Lakes and was part of their Total Ministry team. He has touched many lives with his service to his church and community.

Walter cherished spending time with his family and friends. All who knew him appreciated his sense of humor and caring nature. He was especially known for giving family and friends special nicknames and writing humorous poems. Walter enjoyed hunting, traveling, watching the Minnesota Twins and Vikings, birds, camping, and "stirring the pot" with his family. His life and leadership served as an example to all around him.

He will be missed by his wife Doreen of Detroit Lakes; daughters, Mary (Bill) Molitor of Cold Spring, Minn., Anne (Elliott) Korsen of Plainsboro, N.J., Lora (Albert) West of St. Cloud, Lisa (Ambrose) DeGidio of Detroit Lakes, Lynn (Anthony) Branch of Edina, Minn., Leslie Rice (Scott Gravalin) of Glyndon and Lea (Brad) Anderson of Detroit Lakes; 14 grandchildren, Sarah, Kathryn, David, Sam, BreAnne, Nathan, Tony, Andy, Kjersten, Austin, Nicole, Katherine, Tony and Parker; brother Laurel Tollefson of Cottage Grove, Minn.; sister Kerry Evans of Minneapolis; and many nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death were his parents, Walter and Helen Tollefson; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Henry and Margie Olson; and grandchildren, Grant and Casey DeGidio.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Detroit Lakes, with a prayer service at 7 p.m.

Funeral services are set for 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 20, at the United Methodist Church in Detroit Lakes.

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